I cycle now tired through this very fertile territory, rich in citrus groves, where once the water and mud were the only elements present. Once arrived in San Sperate, Lucia, Manuela and Daniele from the No Arte association welcome me and will take care of me throughout the day.
Despite the cold and humid day, with a few splashes of rain, Daniele takes me around this “museum village” which over the years has seen the transit of artists from all over the world, many of whom have also, in addition to local artists, they leave an important mark between the houses.
Piazza Gramsci is a sort of central junction of the village, next to which the Rio Concias flows before flowing into the Rio Mannu. Partly underground and partly open, the concrete bed of this gully was completely painted by school children, a sign of how much mural art has permeated the whole community.
Not far from Piazza Gramsci is the Megalithic Garden, full of stone sculptures but not only. A metal monument commemorates the beginning of the youth artistic movement, initiated by Pinuccio Sciola in the late 1960s. Various artists were invited to enrich the walls of the village with works of art. Among the murals, I observe one by a German artist, made in 1969. This period is well documented by the photos of Nanni Pes.
There are countless murals and works of urban art. Among the works also many by the artist Raffaele Muscas. It’s amazing what can be created from just a few artists. Even the bottom of some streets is painted, a sort of path that wants to join the various districts of the village. Daniele tells me that in San Sperate there has always been a good, almost familiar relationship between the artists, even the foreign ones, and the community. Even the well-known Argentine photographer Pablo Volta decided to come and work here, then he stayed there, and died here in 2011.
We finish the tour at the church of San Giovanni Battista, around which there was a Punic settlement, at the Romanesque church of Santa Lucia, and then in Piazza Croce Santa, where the terrible flood of 1890 which claimed 82 victims is remembered.
In the Spazio Antas theater, the No Arte association organized an event for my visit. In the dark and in the silence my nasal voice echoes and the basses of the ukulele which for the occasion plays the earth, the fire and the approaching sea.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
The open-air museum of the immense sculptor Pinuccio Sciola has become the Sound Garden. It seems to be in a stone city. Very white limestone, dark basalt, some granite: he personally chose them in the quarries and had them cut by a trusted man, to then work them himself. His sculptures are elegant, mysterious, very beautiful but they also have a secret: sound. According to Pinuccio, whom I visited a few years ago for a possible collaboration, stones have an intrinsic sound within them, which only needs to be released: limestones that of the sea they come from, basalts the fire from which they were generated.
Today I have the honuor of pairing my ukulele with the basalt played by my composer friend Andrea Granitzio, collaborator of the Sciola Foundation which promotes Pinuccio’s memory and message. The notes of the ukulele and those of the dark basalt float in the air merging with the strong cold wind blowing from the north-west.